Low-rake F1 runners warned of rules impact last year

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer says that Formula 1 teams following the low-rake route cautioned last year that they would lose out under the FIA's 2021 aero regulation changes.

Low-rake F1 runners warned of rules impact last year

Szafnauer has blamed the rule tweaks for the team's loss of competitiveness since the end of last season, when as Racing Point it was a regular podium challenger and took victory in the Sakhir GP.

Racing Point followed the Mercedes low-rake concept for its 2020 car and was committed to it for 2021 due to the chassis freeze and token system, which limited changes over the winter.

The FIA introduced a package of aero changes, notably involving the floor ahead of the rear wheels, in order to trim downforce levels for this season.

Szafnauer believes that the new rules disadvantaged the low-rake runners more than the teams that follow the high-rake concept.

Mercedes bounced back from a poor test to win last weekend's Bahrain GP, but the Brackley team has clearly lost any advantage it had over main rival Red Bull in 2020.

Aston Martin struggled for pace throughout, and could manage only a 10th place finish through Lance Stroll.

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," said Szafnauer. "But it was pointed out last year by the low-rake runners, that this would have a bigger effect than on the high rake runners.

"And we were correct. At the time, the regulations were being made this was pointed out."

Read Also:

Szafnauer denied the suggestion that the teams had voted unanimously to support the regulation changes.

"No. Number one, there was never a vote. Number two, there was an indicative vote. So that was just at the technical under committee [working group], that all the technical directors had to have an indicative vote, and three teams voted against it.

"You've got to remember only two teams have a low-rake concept. So even one of the high-rake teams voted against it. So nowhere near unanimity. And it wouldn't have even passed on the eight out of 10 rule. Because three voted against."

Regarding the team's current form, he added: "In race conditions we were a bit more competitive than we were over one lap.

"But compared to where we were just a few months ago here, before the regulation change I mean, we've got a lot of a lot of work to do."

shares
comments

Related video

New Albert Park layout will be five seconds faster
Previous article

New Albert Park layout will be five seconds faster

Next article

Honda plans analysis on race engine form vs Mercedes

Honda plans analysis on race engine form vs Mercedes
Load comments
The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms Prime

The lessons F1 can take from the Masi "souk" deal criticisms

As Formula 1 heads to its Abu Dhabi season finale, the FIA and race director Michael Masi are under increased scrutiny, with radio messages broadcast during last weekend's race prompting discussion and controversy. But what can they learn from the Saudi Arabia debacle?

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021